How has having a smart meter helped you?


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We think that smart meters are great at helping customers keep track of how much they're spending on their energy. What do you like about your smart meter? Anything you wish it could do but can't just yet?

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Hi Lucy,

I guess the smart meter is just that, smart so it tells you the exact amount of juice used. One thing though I've still had a man to come and read the meter a few times? Is that normal? It's not a problem but I thought the whole point of the meter was it didn't need to be read?

Karlos :)
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I like that I can see what has been spent on Gas and Electric just by walking over to the smart meter - I dont have to access an app or an email. I also like that I can set daily cost limits and the meter is able to warn me if I am getting close to, or have exceeded the amount I set.
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Karlos wrote:

Hi Lucy,

I guess the smart meter is just that, smart so it tells you the exact amount of juice used. One thing though I've still had a man to come and read the meter a few times? Is that normal? It's not a problem but I thought the whole point of the meter was it didn't need to be read?

Karlos :)



Great question, Karlos. We’ll still send engineers round for two reasons. The first is to take meter readings to ensure the meters are clocking as they should (not too fast or too slow) and the second it to make sure that the meters are still functioning safely.

Hope this helps!
Lucy
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One thing that has put me off rushing into getting a smart meter is that - or so I understand - there isn't yet a system for transferring a smart meter from one energy supplier to another. Apparently what is likely to happen at the moment is that the smart meter will only work as an ordinary meter with a different supplier.
At the moment I'm happy using the app (which is excellent) to give my monthly readings.
Mark
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markjarmuz wrote:

One thing that has put me off rushing into getting a smart meter is that - or so I understand - there isn't yet a system for transferring a smart meter from one energy supplier to another. Apparently what is likely to happen at the moment is that the smart meter will only work as an ordinary meter with a different supplier.
At the moment I'm happy using the app (which is excellent) to give my monthly readings.
Mark



Interesting point, Mark. Hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself. First up - thanks for the comment!

You’re not alone in feeling this way about smart meters as well. You’re right that some suppliers fit their own type of smart meter that only they can communicate with. We fit ‘Secure’ smart meters, which are also fitted by First Utility, Utilita and Eon. Having said that, it’s always worth checking with any supplier just to make sure.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, this is not the best way of doing things, and limits customers on their options. For this reason, a new type of smart meter, named the ‘S2’, is being designed. This second generation smart meter will be able to work as a fully functioning smart meter with any supplier, and is planned for release later on in 2017. With that in mind, if you’re happy submitting your readings via our app (thanks for your feedback on this), you could always hold off until these new meters become available.

What do you think?

Tim
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Perfect, Tim.

Will there be an announcement when the S2 meters are available? They sound like what I'm waiting for!

Mark
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We'll make sure we post something on the Forum about it to keep you in the loop, Markjarmuz. :)

^Lucy
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SMART meters will not save money. For a while users will watch what they consume and gradually not bother- worse still they are likely to cause discord in a household as the bill payer sees how much each appliance costs to run.Its bad enough now as children & young people put lights on as they walk through the house, but do not turn them off when they leave a room.
As for meters, well when I had a water meter installed- i began regular checking and then gradually not bothering as I found I was using pretty much the same year on year- but water meters do save money as against rateable values - this is not off topic just an example.
Other points, I have read incidences where the meter's battery has failed- result all power off until an engineer comes to replace it. As for money savings a Select Committee of MP's concluded that it will cost users money, as I recall about £40 per annum. Re: Meter readers- yes I have read OVO's policy at the moment as set out above, but doubtless they will gradually become redundant across the energy companies.
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Pursuer wrote:

SMART meters will not save money. For a while users will watch what they consume and gradually not bother- worse still they are likely to cause discord in a household as the bill payer sees how much each appliance costs to run.Its bad enough now as children & young people put lights on as they walk through the house, but do not turn them off when they leave a room.
As for meters, well when I had a water meter installed- i began regular checking and then gradually not bothering as I found I was using pretty much the same year on year- but water meters do save money as against rateable values - this is not off topic just an example.
Other points, I have read incidences where the meter's battery has failed- result all power off until an engineer comes to replace it. As for money savings a Select Committee of MP's concluded that it will cost users money, as I recall about £40 per annum. Re: Meter readers- yes I have read OVO's policy at the moment as set out above, but doubtless they will gradually become redundant across the energy companies.



My understanding is that the government want smart meters in all homes by 2020. Yes, you may not look at it after a while, BUT it gives you the option to look at your usage if you want. People are now more cost aware, and being able to monitor energy spend, in my opinion, can only be a good thing
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Hi Pursuer,

Thanks to Cal for his comments too, great to see that Smart Meters are sparking some good discussion. I've added my own thoughts and comments below which are hopefully useful.

Smart meters also allow OVO to buy the right amount of energy for our customers, as we know exactly how much our customer use. We then won’t be wasting any of the energy we’ve bought in advance and we’ll be able to pass this on as a saving to our customers.

Having a smart meter doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll save money, but it’ll show you month by month what you’re using. A lot of our customers who hadn’t given reads to us before, notice that smart meters give them a better understanding of their energy usage. When you’re more aware of what appliances use more energy, and how your daily routine affects your bills, little tweaks can help you save money. There’s a great Ovo Answers page that gives a lot of energy efficiency tips here: http://bit.ly/22MPjQr

Even if you don’t have a Smart meter, making small changes like this, and giving regular reads can reduce your bills. Once you get into the habit of switching lights off when not in the room etc, you might see a gradual change in your usage.

When it comes to batteries failing in smart meters - this is a very rare occurrence and something that we would treat as an emergency situation. The battery of a smart meter will last for more than 15 years.

It’s really important that we still get meters read at least once every 2 years. This is an opportunity for us to check that there are no safety concerns with your meter set up and is something that Ofgem require all suppliers to do.

Hope this helps.

Darran
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Hi Darran,
Rest assured I turn off lights when the room is not in use, its the other occupant of the house who doesn't- and it was worse when the children lived at home. I know I am not alone in suffering this irritation & waste of energy. My sister in law leaves her fluorescent line on all the time having been told that it is more economical than turning on & off. It isn't as confirmed by the Energy Savings Trust. My meter readings are done every month without fail both as per my OVO contract & as I have done for years & I keep my readings on a database as a permanent record,ability to compare month with month year on year & as it gives me a 'heads up' against a possible mis-reading as happened on one occasion when a meter reader wrote his figures in the wrong order. My records were useful when I became an OVO customer in November 2009 as EDF refused to accepted my final reading. I e-mailed my long list of reading to OVO & EDF then accepted them. However I do not want a SMART meter & in view of Government assurances that no energy user will not be forced to have one I shall continue without one.
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Hi Pursuer

Thanks again for your comments. I'm sure others will have their own views on Smart Meters too. Its a hot topic in the energy industry right now.

Yes not everyone needs to switch to one, but at least everyone will have the choice.

We believe they are good thing but of course not everyone will have the same opinion.

That's why these discussions are good as they give people an opportunity to hear directly from other customers and make up their own mind.

Thanks

Darran
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Hello all,

My smart metre (combined with Ovo's helpful app) highlighted the energy being used by my combi-boiler each day, even when the heating/hot water wasn't in use, e.g. when I went on holiday I used to leave the boiler set to "off" instead of "timer" but left it switched on at the power supply. In this state it continued to use a low level of power (about 2kw each day). Now, when I'm away from home, I switch it off at the wall and consumption goes down to zero.

I'm pleased to hear there are moves to develop a meter that won't need to be changed when switching suppliers. It's a positive move to remove obstacles that may contribute to the perception of switching being difficult.

Thanks,
Karen
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Hey Kal70,

It’s really great to hear this as it means that you’re now able to be more energy savvy and in return, hopefully make some savings!

At the moment, the good news is that there are are a handful of suppliers that are able to communicate with our meters, but we agree and look forward to them being released.

Thanks,
Lucy
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Having a smart meter has made my life much easier.
I am overseas much of the time so now I don't have to get estimated or guesstimated bills, they are all 100% correct.
I can see my bills from anywhere in the world. Love it!
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Hi Amanda,

It sounds like you’re quite the jet setter! I’m not jealous at all…

It’s great to hear your smart meter has made managing your energy use a lot easier, not matter where you are in the world.

We'd love to hear if anyone else has experience with using OVO abroad. Tell us about your travel experiences by commenting below!

Thanks,
Emily
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It's the reliability and automation of the readings that is the main benefit for me. The fact that bills reflect actual rather than estimated usage means that the level of Direct Debit can be monitored and kept realistic.

Encouraging good habits, avoiding "stand by" usage, turning off computers etc rather than "sleeping" is easier once you appreciate such passive consumption.
markjarmuz wrote:

One thing that has put me off rushing into getting a smart meter is that - or so I understand - there isn't yet a system for transferring a smart meter from one energy supplier to another. Apparently what is likely to happen at the moment is that the smart meter will only work as an ordinary meter with a different supplier.
At the moment I'm happy using the app (which is excellent) to give my monthly readings.
Mark



I regret having a Smart Meter installed as OVO has just advised me of the increase in tariffs for the next Fixed Rate, Online Direct Debit and I have tried to Switch but can't as I rely on the Smart Meter to provide me with Export Kwh generated by Solar and when switching I will lose this function. This is a real pain as funds generated by Solar is significant compared with savings when switching BUT don't see why a Smart meter should prevent customers who also have feed in tariffs the ability to switch to make savings. Has anyone else experienced the same problem?
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I see your points, DaveS. Even though we wouldn’t want you to switch away, there are some suppliers who use the same technology to communicate with their smart meters as ours, so you’d be able to switch to them. They’re Eon, First Utility and Utilita.

Smart meter technology is ever changing and evolving so in the future the idea is to make sure that all smart meters that are installed are compatible with all suppliers to ensure that switching is seamless for customers with smart meters.

Lucy
Lucy Many thanks but it doesn't really help because the three other providers aren't overly competitive so basically means that we are locked in which is painful as an increase next year commencing April of upwards of 30% over our last set of tariffs hurts and doesn't say much for loyalty.
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DaveS wrote:

Lucy Many thanks but it doesn't really help because the three other providers aren't overly competitive so basically means that we are locked in which is painful as an increase next year commencing April of upwards of 30% over our last set of tariffs hurts and doesn't say much for loyalty.



I’m not sure about the pricing of those other suppliers, DaveS, but we offer the best prices we can to all our customers.

As Lucy mentioned, soon smart meters will work with all suppliers, so watch this space!

Tim
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It's saved me wrestling my way to the back of the cupboard every month!!
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It's saved me wrestling my way to the back of the cupboard every month!!
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Gary wrote:

It's saved me wrestling my way to the back of the cupboard every month!!



Haha, for that alone, I'd say it was worth it, Gary!
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It hasn't...
I was happy that I wouldn't have to spend time fussing about bills and usage, as I got this meter and had DD set up.
Turns out the meter was set to giving monthly readings, and didn't give readings over the winter, in addition OVO grossly underestimated my usage, so now I'm suddenly sitting with a bill 400+ pounds in debit. Shameful that I wasn't advised of the danger of this at the start!
One very unhappy and dissatisfied customer, who will leave asap!

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